A new airline is born! The inaugural flight of Breeze Airways took off from Tampa this morning for Charleston, SC. The historic flight was operated by an E195.
Breeze will deploy a fleet of 13 E190/E195s by this summer that will link underserved cities in the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and Eastern US. The airline selected the Embraer airplanes for their low operating costs and ideal capacity for the markets they will serve. David Neeleman, the carrier’s CEO, says that “Breeze provides nonstop service between underserved routes across the US at affordable fares. A staggering 90% of Breeze routes currently have no airline serving them nonstop.”
In a recent interview, Mr. Neeleman cited the advantages of smaller-capacity aircraft. “80% of the available seat miles in our summer schedule have no nonstop competition. So, what happens, in that case, is that you generate maybe 6, 7, 8, up to 10 times more traffic than you actually take from everyone else.”
Many of Breeze’s target city pairs are those where air service was suspended, cancelled, or infrequent. The 108-seat E190s and 118-seat E195s are the right sized jets to offer point-to-point nonstop flights. Mr. Neeleman sees the new nonstops as time savers. “If you’re in a really small market … where maybe you connect through a hub and it would have taken 3 hours to get there … now we can get there in an hour and 15 minutes.”
The fleet of 13 E-Jets is comprised of 3 E195s leased from Brazil’s Azul Airlines and 10 E190s leased from Nordic Aviation Capital.